Ray Davies Shares The Kinks Lyrics He ‘Made Up’

During a recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times, the Kinks‘ Ray Davies admitted that he made up the lyrics to the band’s breakthrough single, ‘You Really Got Me,’ released in 1964.

Naming ‘You Really Got Me’ as the easiest song he had ever written, Davies added:

“As a songwriter, I’d probably write more lyrics today. What’s it saying? She’s really got him going, and he’s crazy about her. Very unsubtle in many respects. But that’s the whole point. I didn’t think about the lyrics. I just made them up and sang them.”

In 2016, Ray Davies elaborated more on the meaning behind the lyrics in an interview with Q magazine and revealed that the song was inspired by a woman he spotted dancing in the crowd at his gig at a club in Piccadilly. He said:

“There was a young girl in the audience who I really liked. She had beautiful lips. Thin, but not skinny. A bit similar to Françoise Hardy. Not long hair, but down to [her shoulders]. Long enough to put your hands through…long enough to hold. I wrote ‘You Really Got Me‘ for her, even though I never met her.”

The hit song also features a memorable guitar riff played by Dave Davies. There’s an interesting story behind this distinctive sound, too. The guitarist had explained last month in an appearance on Absolute Radio that he created the distorted riff after a heated argument with his girlfriend.

Davies recalled:

“Well, I think a lot of it happened at the beginning. We were looking for something different. And one day, when I got this little amp from the radio shop next door. Two doors up. I’d had an argument with my girlfriend. Came back and thought, ‘Oh, f*ck.’ So I decided to smash it up a bit.”

So, as Ray Davies disclosed, writing ‘You Really Got Me’ was an easy process since he just made up the lyrics rather than thinking about them thoroughly. With its interesting stories, the song still retains its value as the hit that brought the band international recognition.

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